In 2008, the idea of initiating the Gorilla Highlands Sports Club was mooted, first as Nyarusiza Football Club before it was rebranded.
Based in the South Western hub of Kisoro, the identity of the club stems from the presence of the unique mammals; mountain Gorillas (Gorilla Beringei Beringei).
For starters, Kisoro is one of the only places in the entire world with the mountain gorillas presence at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the contiguous Sarambwe Nature Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Gorilla Highlands Sports Club is now a member of Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) Western Regional Football Associations (WRFA).
WRFA covers the Kigezi and Ankole areas composed of 18 regional league clubs.
Therefore, they are a FUFA regional league entity featuring in the third tier division (after Big league and Uganda Premier League respectively).
Being among the 101 registered regional league clubs in Uganda, Gorilla Highlands Sports Club is privileged to be the only football club representing Kisoro district at the regional league.
The club’s core values are dwelling upon; professionalism, inclusiveness, leadership, teamwork, accountability and working with our community.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joseph Nsabiyumva, the club was founded in 2008 as a Community-Based Organization (CBO).
Gorilla Highlands Sports Club is dedicated to the development of sports and recreational activities in Uganda. The club is proud of over 4000 fans as of December 2019 with an average home match attendance of 2000 fans.Joseph Nsabiyumva, CEO Gorilla Highlands Sports Club
“Since 2008, we have developed to become an outstanding sports outfit in Kigezi region with increasing fan base of 4,000 as of December, 2015. We have also participated in major Uganda football leagues – including FUFA Regional League, district league and Uganda cup (Formerly called Kakungulu cup), the oldest football competition in Uganda.” Nsabiyumva states.
The club motto spells in bold; “Nurturing talent, Empowering communities” and they have lived to the billing as hitherto unknown talents as Vipers and Uganda Cranes’ holding midfielder Bobosi Byaruhanga are some of the vivid products produced by Gorilla Highlands Sports Club.
Byaruhanga won the 2019-20 Uganda Premier League and recently the CECAFA U-20 trophy as Uganda Hippos qualified for the AFCON U-20 championship whose finals will be hosted in Morocco.
He is now part of the Uganda Cranes’ team in Cameroon preparing for the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) tournament.
Besides football, the club has also embarked on a project to empower their players and communities by providing high impact computer literacy skills.
In addition, Gorilla Highlands Sports Club also provides vocational skills, mentorship, career guidance and counselling and reproductive health services.
“Part of the medium term plan, Gorilla Sports Club intends to put in place a sports and Health club that will have a modern gym, changing rooms, coffee lounge with WiFi” Nsabiyumva remarks.
Doctor Martin Mbonye is the club chairperson with Joseph Nsabiyumva as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to ensure steady stability.
There are also several sub-committees that have been instituted to promote good governance.
Eddie Babona heads the technical wing with the members as Denis Mugisha, Andy Rwigema, Edgar Muruta and Alex Uwayezu
The resource mobilization department has its head as Richard Nsabimana.
The members on this committee are; Alex Uwayezu, Lee, Martin (Doctor), Joseph Nturo, Eddie Babona, Richard Rugaya, Bernard Mbereyinka and Philly Gasana
Media & communication:
Diligent and shrewd journalist Stephen Muneza head the media and communication sub-committee.
Gad Ntirenganya, Dickson Mpeirwe, Hilda Bucyana Nshuti and Ceasar Rugaya are members of this committee.
The committee is tasked with the target of increasing market of the club in the main stream media (Print, TV, Radio and social media).
Some of the planned action will entails the introduction of brand ambassadors, holding of events frequently (game day events, community events, charity events, special events), having social media personnel, training and grooming of Public Relations (PR) personnel as well as the initiating the Corporate Social Responsibility ( CSR) cause of targeting marginal groups like Batwa and increasing the scope of brands such as fliers, banners, back drop, introducing kit auction special days and Digital marketing initiatives.
Alex Nambajimana heads the disciplinary sub-committee. Gideon Niringiyimana, Gilbert Sawasawa, Collins Sanyu and Stephen Birikano are committee members.
Projects & Welfare:
Claudine Kampire is the head of the projects and welfare sub-committee.
Denis Mugisha, Stephen Muneza, Bernard Habumuremyi and Dan Rukundo are the committee members on the projects and welfare.
The club has had a number of challenges ranging from transport hitches for players and technical staff especially to the distant matches, renumeration of coaches, support staff and players’ logistics, players’ camp facilitation (accommodation and feeding) and sporting equipment (training and match equipment for players, first aid kit, balls and the like).
“Currently the club has limited financial resources and find it hard to meet the coach remuneration, player retainer salaries and match bonus allowances. It is only operating on contributions from the founder members and a few well-wishers.” Nsabiyumva hints on the challenges of the club.
Gorilla Highlands Sports Club has dreams of getting promoted to the FUFA Big League and the Uganda Premier League as well as starting a women club.
The club continues to forge partnerships with a wide range of associates with the most recent one being Real Oviedo F.C, a Spanish football club based in Oviedo, Asturias.
In April 2019, Real Oviedo donated kits to Gorilla Highlands Sports Club and vowed to continue supporting the club at all times.
For sports and tourism, community awareness and mobilization, Gorillas Sports Club is the way to go.
Eddie Babona (Head), Denis Mugisha, Andy Rwigema, Edgar Muruta, Alex Uwayezu
Richard Nsabimana (Head), Alex Uwayezu, Lee, Martin (Doctor), Joseph Nturo, Eddie Babona, Richard Rugaya, Bernard Mbereyinka, Philly Gasana
Media & communication:
Stephen Muneza (Head), Gad Ntirenganya, Dickson Mpeirwe, Hilda Bucyana Nshuti, Ceasar Rugaya
Alex Nambajimana(Head), Gideon Niringiyimana, Gilbert Sawasawa, Collins Sanyu, Stephen Birikano
Projects & Welfare:
Claudine Kampire (Head), Denis Mugisha, Stephen Muneza, Bernard Habumuremyi, Dan Rukundo